Saturday, 15 October 2011

We're flying High Here in Newfoundland

Where did I last leave off.....hmm, well, there has been lots of action here and I think you will see why I have been procrastinating with giving you all an update. I'll get to that a little later.

A Wonderful Fall

I'd have to say that I was feeling home sick for the fall colours and smells of Ontario. It is my favourite season and I hate to miss it. Oh well, you can't have it all. You guys in Ontario did not have the priviledge of seeing the most incredible iceberg spectacle here (unless you are Leda and Ross who timed their trip to Newfoundland perfectly). The locals here are saying that we haven't had this kind of iceberg sighting so late in the year in about 100 years. WOW!!! The weather for the most part has been good other than a few big storms in the last couple of weeks. Looking at the sun on the ice early morning or when the sun sets is quite spectacular.

Its amazing how fast the icebergs can flip over or break apart. We'd be busy in the cafe and take a peak at the iceberg in our harbour and it would have completely changed shape. When you hear something like a gun shot thats the sign that a big chunk will be breaking off. I was on a walk with Crosbie and was watching an iceberg as I walked on the shore. I stepped behind a few trees when I heard the bang. I ran out into the opening and just missed the iceberg break in two. Oh well.

Throughout September we had a steady flow of photographers from everywhere on the island trying to get unique footage.
The tourist season was also extended with the arrival of the icebergs

Each morning we'd look out the window wondering if we would be blessed with another piece of ice in our harbour. Our front window was the perfect viewing point. In order to bring the icebergs in close to shore there had to be a north west wind. Just as fast as the icebergs appear they will also move on (unless they're grounded).

Someone had a Birthday!

Crosbie turned 1 year old on September 13th. We had a special dog meal for him. He is becoming quite an obedient boy. After much frustration and sometimes embarrassment, he is listening much better. If only he would stop rolling in dead things on a regular basis.

The House Move

So, we're back to more construction and renovations. After our first year of business we have a better idea of what improvements need to be made. The first major issue was parking, the second being seating space. This summer, a big topic of conversation was house relocation. We got thinking and thought that if we moved our house "out of the way" for parking and better view that we would be better off. We had considered selling the house and having someone take it away and build from scratch but this financially didn't make sense because the house structure was in good shape.

The end decision was to turn the house 90 degrees and set it partially up on the rock outcrop that is behind our house. We would then build a full storey underneath it to have more seating for our cafe at a later date. With the house further back we could extend our deck and the view would be breath-taking. We find that during the summer months, most people like sitting on the deck anyway.

Soooo, step one was to start destruction before we could start construction so we got a big excavator and buster in to level off a spot in the rock cliff. He also built us a driveway coming off the road just up from us that would be more convenient to where our house sits now. The excavation went smooth and quick.

We were happy that the excavation didn't take as long as they thought it would. We saved ourselves a lot of money and a few less days of really noisy work. I felt bad for people sitting in the cafe.

The house moving happened about a week after the excavation. This process was a bit more traumatic for us. Especially when our house was up 15 feet in the air on cribs and we were getting 100 km/h wind gusts. We were advised not to sleep in the house that night.

We had a bit of organization to do because there would be no power or water in the house for a few days and there would be stages where it would be hard to get in and out of the house. With the business still open it was a bit of a challenge but we managed.

The first job was to turn the house 90 degrees. They would jack up the house, slide a series of railway tracks underneath, grease them up and then push the house with a loader.

This is the house being jacked up in its current location.

This is the house in the process of being rotated.

Thank goodness they were careful about avoiding the cafe!!

The next step once the house was turned was to jack the house way up in the air. High enough so it would clear the spot on the cliff we cleared. This was the day that the winds were 100 km/h. There was definitely a bit of sway in the house. It was nice to know that the house had insurance on it while up in the air like this.

It really stuck out like a sore thumb out there. It was neat to watch the looks on people's faces as they drove by.

The next step was to slide it onto the cliff with an excavator. The one side of the house rests on the cliff while more than half the house is cantilevered over so we can build another story underneath.

Our electrician was able to hook up temporary power for us so that we could have some heat on and use the appliances. We just don't have any water up there. We're used to being out of our element though so its not that big of an adjustment. We still have water in the cafe, which is sufficient at this stage. The house is actually more protected from the wind now that its in the cliff.

The house moving crew was supposed to be finished pouring the concrete on Friday but have moved that to Monday. Ted and I were going to start framing up the walls on Monday but will have to wait for Tuesday. We are closing the cafe after this weekend to focus on getting the underside of the house framed and sheeted. Once we have the walls built the cribs can come out.

We have decided to take Monday off. We haven't had a day off since we started all this and are using this opportunity to have a day trip. We are going to Fogo Island for the day. We are very excited about having a day to spend away with each other and Crosbie. It has been a great season but haven't had much time to ourselves. This eventually wears and we feel we could use a relaxing day before we get into the building again.

I had to make a trip to Gander to get new work clothes since I have grown out of all my other ones. I have a great pair of overalls and nice suspenders for my work belt. I don't want to put any extra strain on the little being growing inside.

Ted and I both believe that a change is as good as a rest and so being outside more and swinging a hammer will be a welcoming change. We are just glad that most of the contracted work is done and we are on our own with the rest. The excavator only needs about a day to create the parking at the front and dig in our water and plumbing lines.

So, thats our lives right now in a nutshell. "Nugget" is still kicking up a storm and is growing like crazy. I am finally having people ask whether I'm expecting instead of wondering but being scared to ask.

Through the cafe, we have met some incredible people. Its nice to be able to have this friend base even though we don't really get out at all. We have decided to make Crow Head our full time home at this point in our lives. We feel that we can make a living here and feel that the communities surrounding need another place to go to. Our plan is to be open daily from the 24th of May through till Thanksgiving and then be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the winter months. If we want to close up shop for a month in the winter to visit friends and family in Ontario it would be easy to do. The community has been really welcoming to us and we don't feel that we stand out as much as we did when we first arrived. Although, our house sure stands out now.

Our goal is to be finished what we need to get done with the construction by the end of October, early November. We will then make a slow trip back to Ontario, making stops on the way. We should be arriving around the middle of November. Looking forward to seeing family and friends again. We miss all those hugs.